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In the state of Florida, burglary is considered to be a felony violation, and as such, those convicted of the crime face serious penalties. These penalties can include lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, probation, and a variety of additional repercussions. In addition to this, having this offense appear on your criminal record might have a detrimental influence on the quality of your life.
According to the Florida Statute 810.02, the criminal act of burglary requires both the entry into a property as well as the intent to conduct a crime while on the premises. To put it another way, an act of burglary is committed when the offender enters a dwelling, structure, or even a conveyance without authorization and with the intention of committing a criminal act there. Even if that act was not carried out, the defendant may still be charged with burglary if the prosecutor is able to prove that they had the intention to carry out the crime.
Even first-time offenders who are found guilty of burglary crimes can face lengthy prison or jail terms as a result of their conviction. For instance, according to the sentencing guidelines, the minimum prison time someone should spend in jail for breaking into a home for the first time is 21 months. This is why it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney to help with your case.
Burden of Proof
The good news is that it will be up to the prosecutor in this case to prove that you unlawfully entered a property and had the intent to conduct a crime while you were there while you are being charged with a crime. If you are under investigation and have reason to believe that you may be charged with burglary, it is in your best advantage to retain legal representation to assist you in defending yourself against the allegations.
If you are found guilty of burglary, you could face severe punishments and fines. As is the case with the majority of crimes, the specifics of the case and the circumstances surrounding the offense will determine the sanctions that are imposed.
Penalties for Armed Burglary
If the perpetrator of a burglary carries a firearm or another lethal weapon while performing the act, then the burglary is considered a first degree felony and is punishable by prison time of up to life imprisonment.
First Degree Felony
A first degree felony of burglary is a very serious offense that can result in a sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 if the perpetrator was armed with a lethal weapon, assaulted or battered a person who was present in the dwelling, and used explosives to enter the structure. Burglary is considered to be one of the most serious crimes in the United States.
If the conditions of the crime involved using a vehicle to execute the crime, not as a means of escape, like in a getaway car, but to enter the property and cause damage, then the charge of first-degree felony burglary would also be applicable. The damages from said destruction must be greater than one thousand dollars for this charge to apply.
Second Degree Felony
A second degree felony of breaking and entering is punishable by up to 15 years prison time or up to 15 years of probation, depending on the circumstances. As long as the defendant was not equipped with a dangerous weapon and did not conduct assault on anybody within the property that they enter or remain, the defendant will only be subject to a fine that does not exceed $10,000.
Third Degree Felony
Theft in the third degree is classified as a felony and can entail a maximum jail sentence of five years or a probation of up to five years. If the defendant entered a structure where no one was present at the time they entered or remained on the premises, they will also be subject to a fine that cannot exceed $5,000. This fine will only apply if the defendant remained on the premises.
Get Representation from a Skilled Defense Attorney
There are several possible defenses that can be used to dispute a burglary allegation; however, you should never make a plea without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
When facing a charge as severe as burglary, no one should go to court without legal representation in the state of Florida. If you have been charged with burglary of a residence, structure, or conveyance, you may have defenses available to challenge the charge or to mitigate potential penalties.
Our attorneys at Hanlon Law Bradenton have years of experience handling burglary cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
1111 3rd Ave W Ste 310
Bradenton, FL 34205